Free Art Museums

To go along with my post about enjoying art for free, I’ve started keeping a list of free art museums around the United States. I’ll update it as I find new ones. If you know of any other free art museums, let me know! If you’re interested in free art museums worldwide, check out this list, though I have not personally verified its accuracy.

Please note that all museums may change their admissions policies as they see fit, so it’s up to you to verify this information before you plan a visit. If something has changed since I wrote this post, I’m not responsible. Also, realize that you’ll probably still have to pay for parking at many of these places.

Free Art Museums Getty Villa
Getty Villa – Outer Peristyle. The entire J. Paul Getty Museum system in Los Angeles is free and open to the public. Photo by Dave & Margie Hill / Kleerup via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Free Art Museums in the U.S.

*Museums with a star next to their name have indicated on their website that they may charge for special exhibitions. In all cases, the permanent collection is free to enjoy.
  • American Folk Art Museum (New York, NY)
  • Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (Washington DC)
  • Baltimore Museum of Art* (Baltimore, MD)
  • Bronx Museum of the Arts (Bronx, NY)
  • Cleveland Museum of Art* (Cleveland, OH)
  • Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (Houston, TX)
  • Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art* (Bentonville, AR)
  • Dallas Museum of Art* (Dallas, TX)
  • Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center (Poughkeepsie, NY) – read my review
  • Freer Gallery of Art (Washington DC)
  • Frye Art Museum (Seattle, WA)
  • The Getty Center (Los Angeles, CA)
  • The Getty Villa (Pacific Palisades, CA)
  • Hammer Museum (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington DC)
  • Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia, PA)
  • The Menil Collection (Houston, TX)
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art* (Minneapolis, MN)
  • MOCA Pacific Design Center (West Hollywood, CA)
  • MSU Broad (East Lansing, MI)
  • The Museum at FIT (New York, NY)
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington DC)
  • National Museum of African Art (Washington DC)
  • National Museum of the American Indian (Washington DC)
  • National Museum of the American Indian (New York, NY)
  • National Portrait Gallery (Washington DC)
  • Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, MO)
  • Princeton University Art Museum (Princeton, NJ) – read my review
  • Renwick Gallery (Washington DC)
  • Saint Louis Art Museum* (Saint Louis, MO)
  • Sheldon Museum of Art (Lincoln, NE)
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington DC)
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts* (Richmond, VA)
  • Yale Center for British Art (New Haven, CT) – read my review
  • Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, CT) – read my review
  • Zimmerli Art Museum (New Brunswick, NJ) – read my review